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Yes, In Our Backyard

After more than a decade with a nuclear waste dump next door, the sky has not fallen on Carlsbad

Okay, so Yucca Mountain hasn’t worked out so well. In fact, the current betting is that the planned Nevada repository for nuclear waste will never open its doors. No matter. New Mexico beckons.

Craig Miller

A transport container for nuclear waste, outside the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Few Americans seem to realize that the world’s only functioning geologic repository for nuclear waste of any kind is already open for business in the southeastern corner of New Mexico. In fact, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is well beyond the “pilot” phase. It’s been taking in truckloads of the stuff since 1999, without mishap, it’s success no doubt a factor in its anonymity.

An average of 30 truckloads a week from all corners of the US, roll into what is essentially a glorified salt mine, licensed by the federal government to accept low-level “transuranic” waste from defense-related facilities only. Continue reading